Everything you need to know about the properties and use of citronella oil
Aromatherapy is a natural treatment method that uses the properties of compounds contained in essential oils to treat various types of mental and physical disorders. The techniques used in this unconventional treatment include massage, inhalation, baths and showers. Of course, they all rely on the use of carefully selected essential oils. One of the raw materials used in aromatherapy is citronella oil. It is characterized by a fresh, sweet and sour scent of citrus. It has a relaxing and mood-enhancing effect.
What is citronella oil made of?
Citronella oil is made from the leaves and stems of a plant known as citronella. This species is more commonly known as lemon persistent. It comes from the small island of Ceylon, but is now cultivated in many countries of the Mediterranean basin. The essential oil from the leaves of this plant is produced by steam distillation. Due to its pleasant fragrance, it has been widely used in the cosmetics industry. It is added to perfumes, incense and candles. Its properties are also used in aromatherapy, which is an extremely wide field of unconventional medicine.
Citronella oil - properties and chemical composition
Citronella oil, like other essential oils, is characterized by a rich chemical composition. It is the characteristic volatile substances that are responsible for its pleasant and delicate citrus scent. The main ingredients of citronella oil are: citronellal, geraniol, citronellol and limonene. The exact proportions between these compounds are subject to changes related to where the raw material for oil production is obtained. In the perfume industry, varieties containing as much citronellal and geraniol as possible are particularly desirable.
The compounds in lemongrass leaves have an effect that goes well beyond a pleasant smell. In traditional medicine, this oil has been used for years to treat rheumatic pains, colds, headaches, flu, menstrual problems, digestive disorders and general fatigue.
Essential oils are currently undergoing extensive research. The richness of natural compounds contained in this type of products suggests their possible wide use as a supplement to the therapy of many diseases. Research has been conducted that suggests a possible antibacterial and antifungal effect of citronella oil. Experiments have also shown that the citral contained in this product may exhibit anti-cancer properties by stimulating apoptosis in cancer cell lines.
In aromatherapy, it is believed that citronella oil has a slightly warming and relaxing effect. Its pleasant smell determines its refreshing and relaxing properties. For this reason, it can be used to relieve various types of physical and mental tensions. Inhaling with this oil is a good complement to the treatment of depression, apathy and anxiety. What's more, the citronellol contained in it has a documented vasodilating effect. This means that it may be potentially useful in lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension.
As you can see, citronella oil has many interesting properties. Its great advantage is its mild action and fresh fragrance. However, the best scientifically documented and most frequently used property of citronella oil is not its effect on health, but its deterrent effect against mosquitoes and other insects.
Citronella oil against mosquitoes - a way to deal with summer troubles
Citronella oil can be applied to the skin or clothes. Such a procedure will effectively scare away mosquitoes and make evenings in the open air cease to be associated only with unpleasant bites. Scientific studies have shown that at least two compounds in citronella oil - citral and citronella - have anti-mosquito repellent properties. This product is one of the main ingredients of all ready-made mosquito sprays that can be found in drugstores and pharmacies.
Citronella oil - ticks, lice and other insects
Citronella oil is active not only against mosquitoes, but also against other insects. It can be used as a deterrent, incl. ticks and clothing and head lice. In addition, its repellent effect against flies is also likely.
Citronella oil can also have a soothing effect on skin lesions and minor wounds. It can be used as an adjuvant in the treatment of bites.